Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Mountain Midwife ~ Laurie Alice Eakes

26263488For nearly two hundred years, women in Ashley Tolliver’s family have practiced the art of midwifery in their mountain community. Now she wants to take her skills a step further, but attending medical school means abandoning those women to whom she has dedicated her life, the mountains she loves, and the awakening of her heart.

Ashley Tolliver has tended to the women of her small Appalachian community for years. As their midwife, she thinks she has seen it all. Until a young woman gives birth at Ashley’s home and is abducted just as Ashley tries to take the dangerously bleeding mother to the nearest hospital. Now Ashley is on a mission to find the woman and her newborn baby . . . before it’s too late.

Hunter McDermott is on a quest—to track down his birth mother. After receiving more media attention than he could ever want for being in the right place at the right time, he receives a mysterious phone call from a woman claiming to be his mother. Hunter seeks out the aid of the local midwife in the mountain town where the phone call originated—surely she can shed some light on his own family background.

Ashley isn’t prepared for the way Hunter’s entrance into her world affects her heart and her future. He reignites dreams of having her own family that she has long put aside in favor of earning her medical degree and being able to do even more for her community. But is it commitment to her calling or fear of the unknown that keeps her feet firmly planted in the Appalachian soil? Or is it something more—fear of her growing feelings for Hunter—that makes her hesitant to explore the world beyond the mountains?

My take on this book:
Ashley Tolliver is continuing the tradition of midwifery, something that the women in her family have been practicing for several generations. She has always hoped to go back to medical school but for now her patients need her in this tiny Appalachian community where plenty of the new mothers are single and life can sometimes be messy. Births aren't always easy and one night while a teen mother is giving birth at Ashley's clinic she starts bleeding and needs medical care, but when she disappears with the baby Ashley can't help but wonder if the mother and baby survived and where they went.  Hunter McDermott want's to find his birth mother which allows his life to intersect with Ashley in the hopes that she can help him figure out who his mother might be. 

There are two mysteries going on within the pages of this story, which makes for an interesting read, but honestly there are so many things that held my attention with this book. The setting of the Appalachian mountains was easy to imagine, from the rich descriptions one can easily imagine the people and places.Brooks Ridge is unique and the characters really seem real and their life situations really grab you. The mystery and suspense are make this a good story, but for me it's the characters and setting that kept me reading. I found myself thinking about a few of them long after I finished the final  page. 

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

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